"Fringe Fun" – Examining Under-the-Radar Cards in Roaring Skies with Sam Chen and Tyler Ninomura

This is the companion discussion topic for this article.

COMMENTS SECTION BONUS CONTENT!!! (four extra reviews that were cut for various reasons)

In addition to these six, I asked everyone to write about one or two cards that they personally found interesting. I think this is a good look at what each one of us enjoys or finds potential in within the game. Enjoy!

##Zapdos

Sam: Could be a good 1-of in Electric decks (Mega Manectric EX/Garbodor?) that’s a basic non-ex attacker that can OHKO Mega Rayquaza EX and is resistant to fighting. Probably bad, but hey, it’s an option.

Kenny: I rate this card a little more highly than Sam, mostly for the reasons that he pointed out. I think one hit KOing Rayquaza with a non-EX could be huge, especially in a deck with a ton of acceleration like Mega Manectric EX. Obviously it has downsides, but I will definitely be testing it out.

##Articuno

Sam: Could also fit into Rough Seas decks (Mega Manectric EX/Garbodor) as a pretty good counter to non-EX attackers. Getting 2 prizes off Tri-Edge has the potential to swing games (against stuff like Night March, for example).

Kenny: Unlike Sam, I’m not sure I see much competitive usage on this card. However, I do think it would be a ton of fun, as I’m a huge fan of coin flips, and this card can make both you and your opponent flip coins! In casual play, where there aren’t as many EX Pokémon, taking a 2 prize KO can be huge, as Sam pointed out.

##Latios EX

Tyler: Latios EX is one of the first cards to have the words “If you go first, you can use this attack on your first turn” printed on it. And with that sentence, true donks are reintroduced back into the Pokémon TCG! Fast Raid does a whopping 40 for one Psychic with the above text. Add a Muscle Band, Virbank City Gym, and Hypnotoxic Laser and you have a solid 90 damage for one energy on turn 1 GOING FIRST. That’s legitimately a huge swing in the game if you can get this off; you’re likely to get a KO on almost any non-EX Pokémon your opponent led with and at worst just cut their remaining HP in half. Granted, you need a lot of cards to get that turn 1 90 but with all the item-based draw and self-mill, it shouldn’t be too difficult to get off. One of my favorite ideas is to combine Latios EX with the Crobat line, turning that early damage into some early-midgame Ability damage while giving you targets to thin your deck with cards like Ultra Ball and Repeat Ball. Light Pulse, for WPPC, does 110 damage and prevents all effects besides damage done to Latios EX next turn. While the attack cost is absurdly high for the damage output and effect, the addition of Double Dragon energy actually makes this attack cost viable. I don’t think I would base any of my decks around this attack, especially in the current metagame, but it isn’t the worst means of getting in those last points of damage. While Latios EX isn’t exactly taking advantage of any great Weaknesses (outside of the occasional Black Kyurem EX), it’s Fairy weakness is surprisingly not that awful. Fairies isn’t one of the most played decks in the current metagame and I don’t expect that to change with the introduction of Roaring Skies. Latios EX may not be one of the most hyped cards in the set, but the ability to donk is not something that decks have been able to do in awhile now.

Kenny: I am more pessimistic about this card than Tyler. While I agree with a lot of what he’s saying, I just don’t think that a slim chance at a donk/doing relevant damage turn one is going to be good enough in a field of various Rayquazas.

In a casual format though, I think this deck could be awesome. I’ll definitely be trying the Latios/Crobat combo Tyler brought up on PTCGO or at a local League Challenge, as that sounds like tons of fun.

##Skarmory

Tyler: Skarmory is one of the better Call for Family Pokémon we’ve seen since Dedenne. It has an above-average 100 HP and a Colorless typing that pairs well with this set’s Colorless synergy themes. That said, Dedenne sees play because of its Lightning typing and its one-energy attack more often than because of Call for Family. Why would Skarmory be different? Unlike Dedenne, you can expect Skarmory to get off at least two attacks before going down early game in the current metagame. That means that you will be able to fill your Bench easily, even if you play an early Sky Field. This is particularly helpful if you’re trying to get a lot of support Pokémon online since Standard doesn’t give players access to cards like Level Ball. It’s second attack, Blow Through, does 30 for two Colorless energy and an additional 30 if there’s a Stadium in play. Does that sound familiar to you? Oh yeah, it is Tornadus EX’s attack, one of the best aggressive cards from Dark Explorers. Considering that Stadiums are in almost every deck now, Blow Through can pretty easily hit 60 damage. While this is no longer the golden standard damage-wise, a pretty easy 60 for double colorless in addition to Call for Family makes Skarmory blow through its competition for a B. It might not make all of your decks but I think Skarmory is definitely a card you should keep an open mind about. There’s a LOT going on with this card, even if its starting price isn’t $25 USD.

Kenny: Skarmory is the first card on this list that I had completely breezed by without a second thought. I agree with a lot of Tyler’s points, though I’m unsure that Call For Family attacks are great right now with all of the Trainer-based search and draw in the format. If you’re looking to fill a bench quickly and follow that up with a fairly resilient attacker, Skarmory could be a reasonable choice, but I’m not sure that there aren’t better options.

Why wasn’t Shedninja considered? Its attack Hopeless Scream is fantastic though a little risky.

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I’m kind of curious where the dragon type M Rayquaza EX stands. Is it isn’t fringe, then what side does it fall on?

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I think both Rayquazas are very competitive cards.

I think both Mega Rayquaza are competitive, however I see that Dragon Rayquaza is less competitive.
I would say Mega Rayquaza (Colorless) is very competitive, while the Mega Rayquaza (Dragon) is competitive.

about Togekiss:

This could be a way to build an Archie’s Swampert deck or Maxie’s Primal Groudon deck, for example.

These two comments got me thinking about these decks. For the Archie’s Swampert, I’m sure Blastoise or Emploeon are far better stage 2 partners (also Archie’s targets) than Togekiss. For the Groudon deck, there are just too many cards needed for Groudon to function properly to just cut and add energy in place of. On top of that the Ditto/Groudon/Milotic deck looks a lot more promising for a faster energy set up on Groudon.


It’s very clear to me that Togekiss’s best partner is Huntail PRC w/ an Archie’s Blastoise build. (I just wish they gave us Energy Recycle like Japan got…SER is good too however.)

Adam, I also like the idea of using a Latios EX - ROS donk deck. The strategy is simple; IDEALLY set up two to three Latios EX, 2 with a muscle band, and one with a spirit link. Use Fast Raid early game, and with Hypnotoxic laser and muscle band, damage racks up extremely quickly. Then in late game, snipe-sweep with Mega Latios EX. You would use laserbank, although I personally would probably play 3 virbank, and also 1 shrine of memories just in case I need to attack with Mega Latios. Add in Hydreigon EX for mobility, and Dragalge - FLF to lock pokemon in place so that Mega Latios can just snipe things on the bench unopposed. What do you guys think of the idea?

There’s already a thread for that here on Six Prizes, Latios-EX ROS Variants // BCR-on
Go post your list there, and maybe have some help from others.

Ninjask (Wing Buzz)

Trump Card trumps it.

KENNY: This card has to be super fun in a deck built around decking out your opponent. We have access to Ninjask, Trick Shovel, Dunsparce ROS, Bunnelby PRC 121, and Diggersby PRC if we’re looking for an all-in discard strategy. We can also go a slightly more conservative route and use Rhydon XY and Rhyperior PRC 77 to add in some damage output with our milling. We could even throw Diggersby into that deck thanks to the Fighting type synergy.

While decking isn’t optimal when playing with sixty card decks, it is actually a powerful strategy when playing in a draft or any other tournament where the decks are smaller and the cards are less efficient.

SAM: In other formats, this card would have been amazing. However, Lysandre’s Trump Card makes this card not worth it. There are more efficient ways to discard cards from your hand for decks that need that (Ultra Ball).

TYLER: Ninjask, while an interesting card, is currently outclassed in the current format. Basically, it comes down to a race between your Ninjasks’ Abilities to mill your opponent’s Lysandre’s Trump Cards and ALL of their VS Seekers. Granted, there is a non-zero chance for this to happen, but those chances aren’t that great either. Importantly, if the opponent is holding ANY of the noted cards, you’re going to be in for a bad time.

That said, the kind of deck that Ninjask would probably thrive in is a tempo hand control deck with the Ninjask mill as the late-game win condition. However, because Ninjask is so focused on what it does well and that focus isn’t a particularly strong win condition.

Would have never thought to look at this card w/o the article. Thanks.

Though Bunnelby does have two retreat as opposed to none, Bunnelby can attack twice:

It’s really the free retreat that make the Dunsparce so much better. Also you don’t have to post the card image everytime you talk about it. I know what the card says…

Remember that this is a public discussion, not a private one. Posting the image may be helpful to other readers of the thread, and is therefore welcome.

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I would agree if that user and others didn’t just post (like back to back) that image in other threads too. And about half a dozen other times since the Ban of LTC. The first time it’s mentioned, cool. Everytime you mention it, not cool.

And how do you know that the people reading this thread have seen the previous posts and remembered the card?

Regardless, If you don’t think something is cool, then report it.

We are the ones who get to decide what is cool and what isn’t.

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When there’s a new card leaked I think it would be helpful to have someone post the image if it’s been many posts since the original. Just ‘nitpicky’ but I don’t want to duplicate the tab and constantly reference it when someone brings up Entei or anything else, but I can if I so need to.

Perhaps some people don’t browse every thread? I used to only be in a few threads, but now I read most.
Would it work better if I only linked the Bulbapedia page instead of posting the image? Is that suitable? Or should I post the attack’s text as well?

I actually really like that idea. A hyperlink to the card would be a lot better. Eats less screen space on my phone. (Although I like pkmncards.com) I’ll try to do the same as well. Thanks!

Sounds good, I’ll do that from now on. Thanks for the feedback!